I've heard rave reviews about the Yoga Journal Conference for years, so when the opportunity arose for me to go, I jumped at the chance, and recruited a friend to join in the fun. The conference was held at a hotel in Miami Beach, but my friend asked if I wouldn't mind if we rented a condo instead.
Mind?! I preferred renting a condo. If you've been following along for a while, you know I follow a pretty labor intensive GAPS diet to heal my stomach after longterm antibiotic use for Lyme Disease. My friend also follows the diet, and we both wanted a full size kitchen where we could make our own food and feel our best for our time in town.
I went through HomeAway, a vacation rental service I've used before and trusted. I found a great two bedroom two bathroom condo right on the beach. The owner met me at a Starbucks and drove me to the condo. He owns a number of homes in the area, and this particular condo was a true vacation rental - meaning that people didn't live there full time. For me, that's best, as the space is free from clutter and personal items.
Each room had floor to ceiling windows that flooded the condo with soft, natural light. The couch was comfortable, the rug nice and fluffy, and the tv had a million (English!) channels, which was a treat for me coming from Europe!
Fa-ridge check! We hit up the local Whole Foods Market and were in business! We had a lot of fun just catching while making food.
I really love services like HomeAway and much prefer renting a whole apartment to getting a hotel room. Surprisingly enough, this was the cheaper option when compared to hotels in the area! The kitchen and the ability to cook my own meals was priceless to me. As you likely know, my stomach still isn't 100%, so when I can cook meals I am used to I just feel better. Further, while I enjoy traveling with friends, I like having my own room for sleeping. Sharing a condo with a friend translates to hanging out in the living areas and then having your own sleeping space in case you're a light sleeper or just want a little extra privacy. This particular condo had the added bonus of an en suite bathroom with a jet tub, which I totally took advantage of! I've been traveling for weeks so having some time to myself to relax in a detox bath before bed was such a treat!
The last thing I was so thankful for was that the owner gave me his parking pass. Without the pass, I would've paid $30/night for parking. At the hotel next door, you're looking at $50/night (even if you're a guest), so I felt like between cooking our own food and having the free parking, we really saved a good amount of money.
HomeAway was super easy to work with - the customer service is excellent (you get a real, live person when you call!), and the transaction was seamless. I will definitely be using them again in the future, and highly recommend the company if you're looking to feel at home while on vacation.
Let's talk Have you used HomeAway before? Would you ever consider it?